Barber opens new shop
Tonganoxie gains full-time barber
Paul Bray is back in the barber business this time on a full-time basis.
Bray recently opened Paul's Barbershop in the former Community National Bank building, 527 E. Fourth Street.
Bray is no stranger to the barber business. For about 10 years, he's been cutting hair on a part-time basis. About a year ago, however, he closed his shop because of health problems.
Now, he's ready for a comeback.
"I missed cutting hair and decided that I wanted to be a full-time barber," Bray said. "I want it to be a good experience for me. I think Tonganoxie needs a full-time barber."
In 1991, after working for the Santa Fe Railway for about 25 years, Bray decided to attend barber school.
"It always interested me when I was a kid," Bray said. "So, I decided to go."
A year later, he became a part-time barber.
In 1992, he opened his first shop inside Trendsetters, which was just off U.S. Highway 24-40 near West Street where Ford Chiropractic is now. His wife, Judy, had her own beauty shop there. Bray operated in that space for a few years. Next, he moved and shared a space at 526 E. Fourth with his sister-in-law, Melva Morgan. He worked from that location for another few years until he closed.
Bray was surrounded by people in the hair business so it was easy for him to make the transition to full-time barbering. Judy Bray has cut hair for about 35 years. And Bray's daughter, Tina Freeman, also has a cosmetology license.
"I just decided it was time for my own venture," Bray said.
Bray's new shop is in what he considers an ideal location across the street from the post office. And he can offer plenty of parking to customers.
"I don't really have any goals right now," he said. "But I'd like to build up my clientele, make a decent living and satisfy people."
He is open for walk-in business from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays; from noon to 8 p.m. on Thursdays; and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. He doesn't take appointments.
So far, he's been pleased with the reception he's received.
"I've missed visiting with the guys and I enjoy cutting hair," Bray said. "I also like having people just drop by for a visit. When I closed the last time, I had several regulars. I'm glad to see some of them coming back. I've also met some new people in the past couple of weeks, and I'm always excited to meet new people."